I just finished listening to Back on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber this morning. :-) I was actually really excited for two reasons... the obvious one was that I enjoyed the book and wanted to share my thoughts with you all. :-) The second reason was because I was actually able to knit while listening to the book!!! Yes!!! I was actually able to pick up my knitting needles again and knit a few rows pain free! I has been a good weekend for me. :-)
Okay, lets go back to the book. I didn't realize that I had actually read this book already until I was well into the book... chapter 5 or 6 I think. :-) It's been a few months since I had read it, so I was a bit surprised that I didn't sound familiar until one of the plots started to bug me... then I realized what a nit wit I've become. :-)
I'm not the type of person that reads a book just once then puts it aside... I love reading books multiple times - especially my favorite ones. This book has kind of fallen into that category because I can totally relate to one of the characters in this book - Alix. In this book, Alix is in the process of planning her wedding to her sweetheart from the first book, Jordan. I'm sure we can all relate to the pressures and stress of planning our own weddings, but this one especially hit me hard because I could relate to Alix in so many ways. Almost 19 years ago when planning our own wedding, I went through similar problems with my mother-in-law. Now, it was no where near to the same extent as Alix's future mother-in-law (thank goodness), but having someone completely ignore your wishes and just go ahead and do what she wanted... Okay, I'm going to tell you a bit about me and my experience 19 years ago.
I really didn't care about the details concerning my wedding. I just wanted to marry my sweetheart and get on with our lives. I would have been happy to have gone to Vegas or get married by a judge. It didn't matter to me and I would have been happy either way. My mother-in-law, who was planning most of the wedding because of the problems I was having with my own parents at the time, was able to talk me out of a judge and into having an actual wedding. No big deal... there was a park that I fell in love with that was a beautiful alternative to Vegas. :-) :-) But I told her that I wanted to have a small wedding and no alcohol. The last thing I wanted was to have a bunch of people that I didn't know or didn't care to see around me on my wedding day - which is why I would not have minded that wedding in Vegas. :-) :-) Well, I ended up insulting and hurting a lot of people from my side of the family because they didn't get invited to the wedding, but hey, I didn't care. What bothered me was that my mother-in-law had invited so many people that I didn't know - and people that had never even met my honey because the last time they even saw my in-laws was on their wedding day! Okay, that really annoyed the heck out of me. To this day I still resent my mother-in-law for that, but I can look past that to a certain extent. What really bothered me was when I saw my father-in-law and his own brother-in-law drunk as skunks at the reception. Oh, that was the reason that I didn't invite so many of my own family - I HATE being around drunks! But of course, my mother-in-laws excuse was that the reception was more for them and for us... but she didn't think that maybe it would have been a better idea to keep the booze out of the drunks hands until after we left! She was also stupid enough to pour campaign in my glass for the toast. I hate campaign! Even to this day I can't stand the stuff. So, I just didn't drink it - which meant that I didn't toast my own wedding... well, there is a reason that I don't drink very much now and this experience was part of it.
My mother-in-law and I are not really close. I love her and can forgive her inconsiderate thinking on our wedding day... but that was just the beginning. I'm not going to go into any other stories, but I know that my life is much better now than I could have expected 19 years ago. I love my life now, even though there have been a few unexpected changes. Life in Arizona and becoming a stay at home mom has been one of the best changes we've made. :-) :-)
Okay, so now back to the book. I had a hard time reading about the life changing experience that Lydia's sister and her niece experience after an attempted car jacking. I think my own imagination helped me feel the anguish and pain that was going through Margaret and her husband, knowing that this was not the type of injury that could be easily treated in their daughter. I've read other writers that can take a situation like this and really make it heart-wrenching and emotional. I don't think Debbie Macomber did this very well, but in a way I'm kind of glad that she didn't. I think I would have been a bit overwhelmed with emotion to be able to enjoy the rest of the book if that were the case.
Macomber writing - it all works out at the end. :-) :-)
I almost feel like some of these books need to start with a "Once upon a time..." because the endings are almost all "happily ever after...". I'm not complaining, it's good to read a book like this every once in a while. Now, if I can only figure out what the next book int he series is, I may consider putting it on hold at the library... :-) :-) :-) Anyone want to help me? :-) :-)